The research comes from a Google survey conducted in July of just over 1,000 domestic users of web-enabled mobile devices (like iPads, iPhones and such). A full 96% reported they’ve encountered sites that were clearly not designed for mobile devices. Think of one of those sites that simply makes itself tiny to fit on a tablet screen – sigh. 50% said even if they like a Brand, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly. Conversely, of those who have visited a mobile-friendly site, 74% say they’re more likely to return.
DudaMobile (PDF) in February reported that nearly 20% of visits to small business websites led to an immediate call to the business (likely with a click-to-call), with some local businesses skewing much higher (pizzerias: 32%, car services: 27.8%). But businesses have to earn that call with a mobile-friendly site that puts that phone number above the fold and correctly linked.
Google concludes from the new study that non-mobile friendly sites actually damage a company’s reputation. 36% said they felt like they’ve wasted their time by visiting those sites, and 52% said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. Almost half felt that a website that performs poorly on mobile indicates a company that does not care about their business.
According to Marketing Vox, the upshot seems to be that mobile success is up to a business to win or lose. CSS3 has made responsive web design stable and ever-more powerful mobile processing power and bandwidth make lackluster mobile website experiences reprehensible.
Google’s research confirms what most already suspected. Simply put, consumers expect a pleasant mobile experience. Actually, they demand it.